Food Production and Consumption Trends in Sub-Saharan Africa: Prospects for the Transformation of the Agricultural Sector

01 Feb 2012


The objective of this paper is to contribute to the debate on the role of agriculture transformation in the development process and as an engine to reduce poverty and improve general wellbeing through better access to nutrients in Africa. To better inform the debate we review food production, consumption and trade trends in a large sample of Sub-Saharan countries combining both macroeconomic and microeconomic evidence. We selected for the analysis nineteen countries for which household survey data was available, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. The data shows that dietary energy has been increasing in SSA but not steadily and not fast enough. The observed food production and consumption trends highlight the importance of pursuing a deep transformation of the agricultural sector in Sub Sahara Africa if incomes are to be risen and food security problems are to be mitigated.

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